One day, Steven Carter came from work to find that there was a strange bite on his dog’s leg. After getting into his car to drive to the vet, Carter had to endure 45 minutes of traffic, while his dog, Brady, was shaking in the passenger’s seat. But once Carter got to the vet, the doctor told him to wrap Brady’s leg to avoid an infection — a diagnosis that would have been a lot easier if he had just sent in a photo with Brady’s symptoms.
Telemedicine is a growing field in veterinary medicine. Through telecommunications technology, it is now possible to provide health care over a distance, even for pets.
Augmenting Care through Live Consultations
Veterinary telemedicine is strengthening the vet-client relationship by building client loyalty and providing peace of mind. There are several common questions that customers would like to know about their pets, for instance. Instead of resorting to Google and falling victim to misinformation, telemedicine allows vets to carry out video chat consultations before scheduling in-person visits.
Expanding the Scope of Veterinary Practice
Data from the American Telemedicine Association shows that there are about 2,000 networks available in the US. As a growing service, more than 350,000 patients took advantage of virtual dental visits in 2013 alone. As more veterinary clinics embrace telemedicine, it is quickly becoming a model practice where vets can expand their scope and treat the needs of pet owners in rural areas.
Adhering to Vet-Client Relationships
The challenge of vet telemedicine lies in maintaining a meaningful, long-term relationship with clients. Unlike other forms of telehealth, pet telemedicine is different because animals cannot speak for themselves. Pet owners, therefore, still have the responsibility of bringing their pets to a clinic for more targeted care. Positive Impressions, LLC, for instance, helps clinics improve brand recall through their veterinary address labels. This way, customers can locate their practice more easily and increase the number of patient visits.
Thanks to cost-effective video chat conferencing, rural areas can benefit from a virtual vet. Through online channels, animal doctors can improve the health and welfare of pets even at a distance.